Miri is a coastal city in northeastern Sarawak located near the border of Brunei, on the island of Borneo. Being the second largest city in Sarawak, Miri is also the main tourist gateway to the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park; Loagan Bunut National Park; Lambir Hills National Park; Niah National Park and Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park.

Diving at Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park

Due to its abundance of pristine patch reefs, Miri has become a popular dive destination. The Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park lies at a depth of 7 to 40 meters. It also has an average visibility of 10 to 30 meters. The nearest dive site is a mere ten minutes from the marina bay jetty. Water temperature from March to April can be between 26 to 27ºC and at depth temperature can drop to 23ºC. This is because the monsoon is still bringing in the cold water from the northern pacific. The water will reach its normal temperature of 29 to 30ºC around  May. The best time to go diving in Miri is from March to November. The diversity of corals and other marine life on the reefs is among the best in the region.

Diving in Miri hasn't been discovered until recently, which makes its coral reefs rich and untouched.

Most reefs around Miri are rather shallow. Anemone reef (30mins by boat) is a shallow reef (6 to 9 m) covered with soft corals and anemones. During August, migrating green turtles can be found here. Sea Fan Garden lies between 15 and 20m with many gorgonian sea fans and sea whips. Grouper Patch, a rocky outcrop (18 m max. depth) covered with hard and soft corals and of course inhabited by several giant groupers. Tukau drop off is the reef furthest from shore, about 24-28 km (50mins by boat). The reef consist of several longish strips with a wall which drops off from 20 to 45 meter. Its possible to see reef sharks, napoleon wrasses, groupers, schooling mackerels and barracudas and turtles. During certain times of the year whale sharks might be seen here. Kenyalang Artificial Reef - A decommissioned oil rig, this is the first artificial reef in Malaysia and 2nd in the region.

Niah National Park

Although Niah National Park is one of Sarawak’s smallest national parks, it is certainly one of the most important and unusual attractions to visitors. What is most interesting about Niah is that one of the main claims to fame is the birthplace of civilization in the region. The oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia along with many other relics of prehistoric man were discovered about 40,000 years ago, making the park one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

The park has a size of 3,138 hectares of forest and limestone karst areas. It was first gazetted as a National Historic Monument in 1958 and on 23 November 1974 was gazetted as National Park and open to the public on 1 January 1975.

In 1958, a discovery was made which confirmed Niah as a site of major archaeological significance. Led by Tom Harrison, he and his team unearthed a skull at the West Mouth of the Great Cave, which was estimated to be 40,000 years old. It was the skull of a modern human (Homo sapiens). Apart from that, plenty of human settlements in the area like tools, cooking utensils and ornaments, made of bone, stone or clay were found. These items found suggested that a long period of settlement reaching back into the palaeolithic era (the earliest part of the Stone Age). Further excavation works are still on going.

Besides that, the Subis River (Sungai Subis) flows along the park’s western border. Not forgetting a large, almost vertical limestone massif, Mount Subis (Gunung Subis), which rises from the plain little above sea level and covers about 60% of the area. The limestone was originally formed as a coral reef in the Lower Miocene. Later it was uplifted and modified by faulting and erosion.

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